Saturday, August 30, 2014

#86 : Manhattan Mango by Madhuri Iyer : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Manhattan Mango

ISBN: 9788172345129

AUTHOR: Madhuri Iyer

GENRE: Fiction


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The publishers sent us a review copy in exchange for a honest review. We thank Fingerprint Publishing for the same.

SUMMARY: Q. What happens when three ambitious, high-achieving, 20-something Mumbaikars become New Yorkers?

A. Madness.
Zipping through life’s ups and downs like a high-speed elevator during rush hour, buddies Shri, Shanks, and Neel hold on to each other, and their sanity, with a bro-hood bonding that chipkos them together, fevicol se.

Neel’s the driven hedge fund guy, with a weakness for scotch and women. Tam Brahm Shanks, a techie, falls for the "wrong” girl. Good Son Shri, a banker, holds a secret he means to take to his grave. Their intertwined lives buzz with high-voltage drama — explosive secrets, super-charged romances, and a-fuse-a-minute meltdowns.

There’s alcohol-fueled passion, Devdas style. Inter-racial hook-ups. Even a fake affair, because money can’t buy the real thing. When their skyscraper-sized dreams are tested, this “desified” saga of friends in Manhattan is like the city’s rapid transit express subway line. You won’t want any stops in between


The summary instantly hit a right note with me. Being a 20 something girl myself struggling to make a career, I could connect with the characters' professional struggle.

The story revolves around three friends, Neel,Shanks and Shri who have stuck to each other through all the ups and downs. Neel is this good looking “almost-playboy” who has a weakness for women of all “type”. I’ve never encountered such a man in real life. Every man sure does have a “type” , but this Neel guy takes the cake, he almost has a thing for anything that looks like a woman.

Shanks reminds me of my own family who would probably eat me alive if I brought home a “ firangi” date but then would eventually accept it. The writer sure has got the typical family life of a Tam-Brahm right.  

Shri’s character essentially takes a backseat until his secret is brought to “streets” by his “ partner”.

Enter a girl, who we would all stereo-typically imagine to toss the group’s lives apart. Thankfully the writer managed to beautifully weave “that girl’s” character sans all the usual love triangle (or quadrangle?) that could be expected. Some big headache saved there.

As the story line progressed lots of characters made their way in. That sort of got me confusing.  Till date the only book (or series of books) that didn’t confuse me in spite of having plenty of characters is obviously.

What I loved most about the book is the way the writer portrayed the everlasting bond of true friendship. When Nikhil's issues with the bottle hits the roof, the two other friends support him while he recovers. 

To sum it up, the writing is compulsive and humorous; the story line is light and heartwarming.

VERDICT: Why not?! Nice light read!

RATING: 4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: She has studied O Levels from the London University and graduated in Applied Art from Sophia Polytech, Mumbai. 

She has worked as an advertising copywriter for agencies in Mumbai, Dubai and Canada, including FCB Ulka, Lintas Lowe, Everest Saatchi, Clarion McCann, and Cossette Canada. Her advertising career had spanned over two decades, culminating in a Creative Director job in Dubai. Presently, she consults for Induseye Inc, as a director. 

In India, she has published work in the non-fiction category. She has written/edited the 

4-WEEK COUNTDOWN DIET for Penguin India, with her own recipes and case studies, in collaboration with fitness expert Namita Jain. She has also edited fitness books for the Times of India Group, including a children’s fitness book and a home exercise instruction manual. 

In the fiction genre she has written a novella, Pink Champagne, for Indireads, an online imprint. Manhattan Mango is her second work of fiction for the Indian and diaspora market.


PRICE: Rs. 175 (Paperback)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse